There’s a simple reason horror movies are so popular and have been for decades. It doesn’t matter if you like scary movies or not. We can all agree that there is something appealing about being scared. It’s thrilling, it gets the blood pumping, it makes you remember what it feels like to be alive. From the classics like Psycho and The Shining to some of the modern favorites like Get Out and Us, horror movies are an essential part of pop culture.
But what separates splitandchill streaming services from what we see today? What gives them such an enduring legacy? To answer these questions, we need to look deep into the minds of their creators—and even closer into our own hearts and souls—to uncover why they have such a powerful hold on us all these years later..
Scary Movie (2000)
Plot Summary: Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) must survive a series of horror film parodies in order to save her friends and family. Along the way, she encounters other satirical characters including Professor Oldman (Christopher Masterson), Shorty Meeks (Marlon Wayans), Doofy Gilmore (Dave Sheridan) and Buffy Gilmore (Shannon Elizabeth) who help her on her quest. Together they must dodge killer bees, the devil and a giant leg.
Why It's Good: In addition to being the first scary movie spoof ever made, this movie is also one of the best comedies of all time! The jokes are funny, even six years later. If you like spoofs like Airplane!, then you'll love Scary Movie!
Director: F. W. Murnau
Starring: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
Plot: A vampire stalks a real estate agent in Germany.
Reception: Considered the greatest horror film of all time
The Ring (2002)
A video tape that kills you in seven days, a dark secret from the past, and a little girl with stringy hair crawling out of your TV—the classic horror film The Ring is still one of the best, fifteen years after its release.
The story centers around a cursed video tape that kills you in seven days, which leads to an investigation into its chilling origins. The main character Rachel’s son Aidan watches the tape while they’re on vacation, making it urgent for her to find the girl involved and “break” the curse. You'll see plenty of Samara—the creepy ghost-like young girl who starred in the movie within the movie—as Rachel reveals more about her past and how she ended up stuck in that horrifying well.
This American remake was based on Ringu (1998), a Japanese psychological horror film that received great reviews. The Ring also did well at home and abroad, leading to a sequel called The Ring Two (2005) as well as an American reboot version starring Matilda Lutz and Alex Roe: Rings (2017).
28 Days Later (2002)
If you haven't seen it, 28 Days Later follows a group of English survivors at the start of a zombie apocalypse. The cast is mostly unknowns, but the lead is Cillian Murphy, who you might recognize from movies like Inception and Peaky Blinders. Throughout the film, our protagonists try to escape London’s infected population, which has been placed under quarantine by the military. The movie came out in 2002 and was released to rave reviews and box office success. It was one of the first big hits that helped create today's craze over all things zombie-related, as well as helping establish Danny Boyle as one of Hollywood’s most interesting directors.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
If you haven't seen this movie yet, stop reading this article and go watch it. It's a classic horror film—probably one of the best in history. The movie is based on a group of student filmmakers who went into the woods to find the Blair Witch, a local legend. They never returned, but their footage was found—and that's what we see in the movie. It's made to look like it's real footage that was found years later in the woods where they were last seen alive.
The Blair Witch Project is so different from other horror films because instead of being violent with blood and gore, it uses your imagination to scare you. But don't worry: You'll still be scared!
You may have seen a movie that was "shot" on a computer or phone screen, but this is the first horror film to be entirely shot from a computer screen. The movie follows a group of teenagers who are haunted by Laura Barns, who committed suicide after being bullied online. Not only is Unfriended great because it's one of the first modern "found footage" films to be told via video chat, but it's also one of the few contemporary horror movies that actually has an R rating (the MPAA gave it an NC-17 rating at first!)—and that makes sense considering that while they're chatting, they stumble upon a video clip of Laura committing suicide and then end up watching an edited version of the original YouTube video featuring her death.
The concept is intriguing and allows for some creative storytelling since it plays out like you're watching someone else's computer screen for much of the runtime. It's also creepy as hell: I still have nightmares about the scene where someone texts a bunch of people from dead girl's account, with her message saying: "I'm coming for you."
It Follows (2014)
You've probably heard of It Follows, and if you haven't, you should. The 2014 film from director David Robert Mitchell remains one of the most unique and influential horror movies ever to be made. In a genre that has been oversaturated with contrived jump scares, hackneyed premises and callbacks to the past in recent years, It Follows stands apart as a standout example of how to do things right.
The story follows Jay (Maika Monroe), who is stalked by an unknown force following a summer intimate encounter gone wrong. She enlists her friends—who are also followed by the entity—to help her figure out what to do next. In doing so, they band together to combat the terror that follows them through their suburban lives.
The movie is both an homage to classic '80s horror and something wholly original at the same time. Not only does it have a refreshingly original premise—something rarely seen in modern horror films—but it also delivers on jump scares while avoiding other clichés found in recent slasher or ghost movies.
Once it’s established that a movie is a horror film, the viewer enters into an unspoken social contract with the filmmakers. You (the viewer) will agree to be scared, if they (the filmmakers) promise to scare you. Hereditary is just such a film, and it ends up being one of the most unsettling movies I have ever seen. Someone should make a list of “Top 10 Most Unsettling Movies Ever Made.” In fact, maybe I should make that list?
Anyway, Hereditary tells the story of an average family who are terrorized by supernatural forces upon the death of their grandmother. Particular praise has been given to Toni Collette for her performance as the matriarch Annie Graham, who mourns the loss of her mother while also struggling with mental illness and grief from past tragedies in her family. The other members of this family do not fare so well—especially poor Peter Graham (Alex Wolff), who must witness many disturbing events while also grappling with his own issues regarding masculinity and sexuality.
Wolff has described his character as “a 16-year-old boy dealing with things that any 16-year-old boy would deal with on top of all this insane paranormal stuff happening," which definitely resonated on a personal level for me when I watched it in 2018 (I was 20). This movie was very good at making me feel uncomfortable!
Well, that about does it for the best horror movies of all time. A lot of these are pretty obscure and underrated, but that's okay. That's why we're here at Split and Chill to enhance your streaming experience. To spread the word about quality horror cinema.
There you have it: The five best horror movies that no one knows about but you should know about and watch as soon as possible if you want to be considered a true connoisseur of fine film-making and good taste. These are the movies that will still be remembered long after the big budget blockbusters have faded into obscurity.